The Annoyance Christmas Pageant | Annoyance Theatre | Holiday Shows | Chicago Reader

The Annoyance Christmas Pageant Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Saturdays. Continues through Dec. 27 2008

The Annoyance Theatre's winter offering features adaptations of two animated TV specials from the 1960s: Charles M. Schulz's A Charlie Brown Christmas and Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Barely an hour long including intermission, the double bill balances nostalgia and irony, and watching young actors play jerky cartoon characters is amusing--at least for a while. Vince Guaraldi's brilliant original music for the cartoon, moreover, is played to near-perfection by pianist Lisa McQueen and her trio. But what's most striking is the durability of Schulz's sly satire of holiday commercialism, and his wry, aching exploration of neurotic relationships. The Dr. Seuss segment fares less well, due to sloppy performances and narrator Greg Callozzo's uninspired rendition of Seuss's playful rhymes. --Albert Williams

Price: $10-$15

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